About The Marching Apron
Welcome to The Marching Apron, your Registered Dietitian-approved source for evidence-based gluten-free nutrition information and fantastic gluten-free recipes!
This is a website for both new and seasoned cooks to grow gluten-free cooking knowledge, skills, and confidence so that you can serve deliciously balanced gluten-free meals with ease.
A place where you can cook fearlessly gluten-free. A reliable place where you will find carefully created, tested, and perfected recipes that will delight the taste buds of everyone gathered around the table – whether they require gluten-free foods or not!
I know the challenges of making and serving gluten-free foods after my own husband developed celiac disease several years ago. I am here to empower you to master your own cooking skills as I did so you can proudly serve delectable gluten-free foods, too!
In this space I will provide dependably delicious healthy recipes plus key nutrition insights to support you in cooking nutritious foods that are 100% gluten-free as you address the needs of the gluten-free people in your life.
“Because cooking gluten-free shouldn’t be difficult and eating it shouldn’t taste like cardboard.”
-Julie Christensen, RD, LD
Thank you for allowing me to take up a part of you cooking space!
Meet Julie Christensen, RD, LD
Registered Dietitian. Wife of a Celiac. Mom. Cat Lover. Self-Proclaimed Foodie Home Cook. Recipe Developer. Food Stylist/Photographer. Writer.
Proud Purdue Grad. Former Marching Band Member. Reformed Overweight Kid. Pursuer of Fitness. Melanoma Skin Cancer Survivor.
Overly Ambitious Person with Poor Concept of Time. Thankful for Jesus.
Yah, that pretty much sums it up.
Oh, and I’m an introvert…unless you want to talk about cats 🐈🐈⬛ or wine🍷 (I love crafting great food & wine pairings) or anything about food and nutrition really! 🤩
Hi! I’m Julie – the woman behind The Marching Apron. I live in central Indiana (VERY close to the racing capital of the world – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway) with my fun-loving husband, Jason, our daughter and son that both keep us busy, and our two super sweet cats, Ivy & Gus.
I could talk all day about the fun cat happenings that bring daily bursts of giggles from each of us, but I’ll save that for another time. I am a bit smitten with my kittens!
Soon after getting married, it didn’t take long to find out that my favorite place in the house was the kitchen. I enjoyed browsing cooking magazines and cookbooks and finding recipes and reading their reviews on websites. I learned a lot. I cooked a lot.
It helps that I LOVE to experiment with different ingredients. I am not afraid to NOT follow a recipe if I can sense an improvement can easily be made with a few minor adjustments. I have an adventurous palate and my husband quickly formed one, too.
When I decided to be a stay-at-home mom for a few years after our second child was born, that’s when my passion to cook flourished. Tinkering in the kitchen was my creative outlet.
And since I was no longer providing nutrition counseling to patients, it was my way to stay connected to dietetics in an even more intimate way. By nurturing my family even more with a variety of scrumptious high-quality whole food meals.
It was during that time that my husband said I should write a cookbook or maybe start a food blog after eating so many tasty home-cooked meals made by yours truly.
He almost always swooned over many of the meals I would drum up. Sure, I had recipe flops, but who doesn’t? Even when I prepared food for HIM to grill for us, he complimented ME. He’s always been such a nice guy. He was very encouraging (and still is), but I just laughed him off.
I was like, “Oh, yah, right. And just WHO would want to buy my cookbook or read my blog?” I am after all, well, just…me.
My cooking expertise was suddenly challenged when my husband was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2016.
He wasn’t completely surprised – my husband’s father and oldest sister had lived with Celiac Disease for years and years. And I already knew how to safely make gluten-free foods for them and for others in our circle, but we weren’t living it day in and day out.
I embraced the new challenge in gluten-free cookery with open arms. Despite his new health struggle and experience with food loss, we knew Celiac Disease could fortunately be managed successfully through his diet. I had a new mission as a devoted dietitian and wife.
His gastroenterologist said that he normally refers newly diagnosed Celiac Disease patients to a registered dietitian for gluten-free nutrition education. But this time he said, “I don’t think I need to refer you out. As a dietitian, Julie will provide all the information you need. She will take good care you.”
My husband felt blessed to have me by his side to help him navigate his new restricted diet. I was appointed to be his personal in-home dietitian, and I took it seriously. I became his biggest health advocate.
- I spoke to his sister and to his mom and dad and learned about which gluten-free products they liked to use and why.
- I quickly found ways to make gluten-free meals, snacks, and goodies for him.
- I experimented with different gluten-free flours.
- I revamped family favorites so that he could eat them without fear of “being glutened.”
- We carved out a special section in both the pantry and the freezer for his gluten-free foods. We have tried many.
Through trial and error, my gluten-free cooking and baking skills grew and grew. It was fun! But because of my intense love for all things food, my dietetics background, and my kitchen experience and honed cooking and baking skills, I was well-equipped for this new adventure.
I developed a gluten-free recipe repertoire that the whole family could enjoy. And when we attended pitch-ins or family gatherings, I would always bring the gluten-free dish to make sure he had something to safely eat.
Often times, others would enjoy what I brought, share glowing compliments, and ask for the recipe…not knowing that it was gluten-free.
What I offer here at The Marching Apron is unique in that our kids and I still eat gluten-containing foods; we still have a foot in the non-Celiac world.
As such, our kitchen is not 100% gluten-free. We all take special precautions to ensure that cross-contamination of gluten-containing ingredients does not occur.
- He has his own toaster; the kids and I have ours.
- He has his own peanut butter jar that is labeled “GF” that the rest of us do not touch.
- We do not double-dip knives into butter or condiments.
- And sometimes we make two different kinds of pasta in two different pots for a meal.
- Or we make two different kinds of pancakes for breakfast. That way the kids and I reap the benefits from a variety of whole grains. And then we all have leftovers we can enjoy again!
Through recipe testing and development, we often test Jason’s gluten-free recipes against our gluten-full recipes. My goal is to make fantastic foods without the gluten that others don’t suspect are gluten-free.
After relishing many new gluten-free recipes, my husband brought it up again, but this time, with a twist. “You should start a gluten-free food blog or write a gluten-free cookbook.”
Yet again, I just laughed him off.
Until one day…
The Rest of My Story
It was August 2020. We were all wearing masks. We tried not to cough if we felt a tickle in our throats. We used hand sanitizer after touching anything that didn’t belong to us. The pandemic was here.
I was working part-time and my employer reluctantly made the decision to implement hospital-wide COVID-related staff reductions.
On a Monday morning, my director asked me to join her in the conference room. It was then that I learned that I had to leave, by no fault of my own. I had to pack up my things in a box and walk out the doors of my local hospital with my tail tucked between my legs.
So, I did more of what brought me great joy. I spent even more time cooking in the kitchen and also being outside. I had a lot of time to reflect as I looked for a new job.
I listened to different professional development podcasts and was intrigued about newer work options. After searching and applying for new positions, I realized that I had an opportunity to do something different with my dietetics background and my love for working with food.
I took online courses designed for dietitians venturing out into new side hustles. I worked with a business coach. I seized the moment and learned how to blog.
The Marching Apron was born.
What You Will Find Here
I’ll provide you with carefully crafted, tested, and perfected recipes that are not only nutritious, but also easy to follow and 100% deliciously gluten-free.
I will share tips and techniques learned through my own cooking victories and recipe flops so you can just go ahead and easily make awesome food!
I will also provide gluten-related information to simplify navigating the needs of the gluten-free world, whether for you or for someone dear to you.
My hope is that you’ll keep coming back to The Marching Apron to rock it in your own kitchen as you master the art and science of fearlessly cooking gluten-free! I’ll continue to post yummy recipes for you. But don’t just PIN it, MAKE it!
Thank you for being here! I am in my happy place, helping you to cook in yours.
*Please don’t ever hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.
Julie Christensen, RD, LD is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with over eleven years of experience in the field of dietetics, specializing in Wellness & Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Weight Management, and Celiac Disease.
She holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, & Health as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, both from Purdue University. She is also a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and completed the Commission on Dietetic Registration Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management in 2014.
She has had extensive practice providing nutrition education and counseling to both individuals and groups. As a food & nutrition expert, she is devoted to providing accurate, evidence-based information and promoting culinary mastery.
Julie’s goal is to empower the population to pursue healthy lifestyle interventions that result in improved health, disease prevention and/or optimal disease management, and elevated overall well-being through food & nutrition writing, communications, and coaching.
She is the founder and content creator of the gluten-free food blog themarchingapron.com. At The Marching Apron, she provides nutrition expertise and delicious healthy gluten-free recipes to grow gluten-free cooking skills and confidence that can be enjoyed by all in any kitchen.
As a self-proclaimed foodie dietitian and lover of all things food, nutrition and dietetics is a daily practiced passion she loves to share!
There is a great deal of nutrition and health information available on the internet. What makes this website a reliable source of information you can trust?
All content is created by Julie Christensen, RD, LD unless otherwise indicated. Julie has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, & Health, has completed 1,200 hours of supervised practice through an accredited dietetic internship program, and passed a national exam to obtain her dietitian credential. To maintain this credential requires 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years.
Additionally, Julie also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology, which sharpens her skills in communicating complex information and understanding human behavior and mental processes.
All articles are written based on Julie’s 11+ years of experience as a registered dietitian and based on current literature and research. Website content includes references to peer-reviewed research articles, academic text books, or websites you can trust (from government or academic institutions). The Marching Apron is about science and not popularity, click-bait, or trends.
When an author posts on this website, all content is edited and fact checked by Julie prior to publication. Guest authors use the same process of research and referencing. All content is reviewed at least annually and updated as needed based on changes in science.